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2024 Technology Preview Program

2024 Technology Preview Program:
Master powerful new features and shape the latest BIM-enabled innovations

Start Working in Archicad

Emoke Csikos
This article will help you learn the basics you need to know before starting to work in Archicad.
This article is a part of a series titled Archicad Quick Tour.

Starting Archicad

The User Interface of Archicad


Saving your work 

Before you pause working, make sure you save your work and also remind yourself to save your work frequently with the Ctrl + S (Windows) or Cmd + S (Mac) shortcut combination. Learn more about how Archicad ensures data safety in the article titled Save, Autosave and Backup in Archicad.

Closing a project 


What are libraries?

They are collections of preconfigured, editable, localized parametric objects, that are also known as library parts, GDL objects or simply objects (see definition below). Archicad is shipped with a standard library (named simply Archicad Library) containing hundreds of objects. When you start a new project file, the Archicad Library is automatically loaded into your project. If you don't have any library loaded for some reason, basic Tools like the Door Tool, the Window Tool or the Stair Tool will only work with a very limited functionality not offering you the options to choose from a large variety of suitable objects. Libraries can reside in external folders or can be embedded in the project. All Objects are accessible from a loaded Library in Archicad and can be directly placed into your project. Learn the basics about how to work with libraries from the articles under the master article titled Libraries.

What are objects?

They are small files that save you the work of recreating many repetitive items in a building during design, such as windows, doors, pieces of furniture, plants, cars, people, pieces of mechanical systems, etc. All Archicad Objects are highly parametric; you can change their sizes, color and many other parameters to tailor them to best fit in your project. The example below shows different versions of the same object using different parameters:

Add-Ons and Goodies 

What are add-ons?

They are separate small applications already integrated into Archicad that extend the basic functionality of the program. Learn more about them here:

What are Goodies? 

These are  free add-ons, which are not integrated into Archicad by default. You can add them to your Archicad. Read more about them here:


This article is a part of a series titled Archicad Quick Tour.

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